How is your light?

February is always a hard month for me as it’s the anniversary of my son’s death through violence. When something like a school shooting in Florida happens my heart hurts more. I allow myself to cry and heal.

Many people feel uncomfortable and move straight into anger because they find it easier to feel. Blame and “knowing” the solution feels good. Until the people you blame don’t do what you want them to do. Then you get angrier.

It’s not just up to government to do things. You can be active in trying to create change that way, yet it is also up to each one of us to bring more kindness and love into the world. Yes, love and prayers. Our world needs more love and prayer.  And healing hurt. You are not helpless in preventing tragedy.

What are you doing to make sure children and teens are loved, cared for and mentored?

Are you pouring love and kindness in the world or more anger, judgment, and impatience?

Can you add more gentleness or are you deepening the increasing coarseness in society?

Are you taking time to see people, especially people that are not often seen? Are you listening with compassion?

Can you support instead of ignore people in pain – even though it’s hard?

Who do you know that is in pain that you can show up for?

Are you bringing peace or harsh words and an agitated spirit?

Can you do something to affect change right in your community? Can you check with local charities and teen centers for needs?

Who might be feeling unloved where you live?

Are you increasing the love and unity in the world or focusing on division and separation?

When you look at your Facebook messages and tweets this week, what kind of world are they ushering in?

What media are you consuming? Is it violent, mean, glorifying the worst in society? Is it full of division? Is it creating greater discontent and drive to do and have more?

None of this is easy. It requires getting connected, feeling vulnerable and disappointed. We may be doing things we don’t normally do or talking to people we don’t normally talk to. It’s easier to live in our bubbles, blame other people and spout off on social media than do to the real work of affecting change.

But, that is what our world needs right now. People willing to unify, love and be courageous.

This is why simpler living is so important. It is so much harder to do the things to create a better world if we are chaotic and overwhelmed. It’s so easy to only see ourselves when we get super busy. Often we quit bringing our best selves and instead we show our exhausted, petty, impatient selves. It is difficult to be a light when you are moving so fast you blow out the candle.